Aug. 28, 2013

Math and science classes were the reasons many of us in journalism chose our profession. Creative writing came much easier than calculus and physics.

But during the David Camm trial, everyone in the courtroom today, especially the jurors, had to work through lessons in DNA technology. But these lessons were a matter of life and death.

Our teacher was Lynn Scamahorn, former DNA analyst for the Indiana State Police. She performed some 300 tests on clothing and other items from the crime scene. And it was her job to explain the procedures and results so that jurors (and journalists) could understand.

Among Scamahorn's findings:

DNA and blood from Kim and 7-year-old Brad Camm were found on a sweatshirt worn by Charles Boney, as well as DNA from Boney's ex-girlfriend Mala Mattingly. Boney was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the Camm case in 2006.

DNA and blood from 5-year-old Jill and Brad were found on a t-shirt worn by David Camm on the night of the murders. No DNA from Kim Camm was found on that shirt.

Kim's DNA and blood were found on one of David Camm's shoes and on a sock.

Camm's DNA was found in sperm in Kim's underwear.

Scamahorn used a mannequin to help jurors understand where on the clothing the DNA and blood were found.

During cross-examination, one of Camm's attorneys, Stacy Uliana, continued to try to paint a picture of a rush to judgment and shoddy investigative work early on. For example, her questioning revealed that investigators did not ask Scamahorn to test samples that were ultimately determined to be DNA from Charles Boney until after Camm's first trial.

Scamahorn's testimony will resume on Thursday.

The science lesson continues.

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